Sports are an integral part of American culture. This is one of those things everyone agrees on. West Virginia is not immune to the sports craze, which can easily be seen by the presence and availability of sports betting sites like the online sportsbook WV website. However, to truly understand the state of affairs concerning basketball, in particular, we must dig a little deeper and uncover what teams are the most popular. Join us as we explore the world of basketball in West Virginia and figure out whether there are any other sports that might be more popular.
While there are no major league teams that play in the NBA, the Mountain State is home to some awesome basketball teams that play in the first division of the NCAA. The two teams the state has to be proud of are the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Marshall Thundering Herd, as well as their female equivalents.
West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers are just one of seven men’s sports that represent West Virginia University. The team has been around since 1955, though they reached their first final in 1959. They have a long-standing rivalry with Marshall, though they have been known to play a few interesting matches with their out-of-state challengers, like Pittsburgh, which is actually their biggest opponent. The Mountaineers have played almost two hundred games against them and have a slight lead in overall matches.
The West Virginia Mountaineers women’s basketball was started in 1973. The team originally had a rough start by winning only 4 out of 14 games in their first season. However, they have since approved drastically and are present in NCAA tournaments and Conference championships. Their current head coach is the former player Mike Carey. This isn’t Cary’s first team he coached. Before training the Mountaineers, he was the head coach for the men’s basketball team at Salem International University.
Marshall Thundering Herd
The Herd is also a representative of its own namesake university. They have played in the National Invitation Tournament, or NIT, five times, as opposed to 16 times their opponents, the Mountaineers have had the honor. What they lacked in NIT, they more than made up for in the presence of their players in the NBA. Namely, while the Mountaineers can brag about Rodney Clark “Hot Rod” Hundley way back in the fifties, the Herd has about a dozen of their players that either played in or coached the NBA teams.
Unlike their counterpart at the University of West Virginia, the women’s team of the Marshall Thundering Herd did not appear in many NCAA tournaments. In spite of that, they hold a solid position in women’s basketball. They are ranked 6th among the Conference USA teams.
Unfortunately, three are no major league sports teams in the Mountain State. Regardless, the minor leagues and the college teams more than make up for the action an average sports fan might enjoy. The minor league sports teams you should keep an eye out for are baseball, with Blue Jays, Rays, and Power, as well as ice hockey and soccer.
We have already talked about the two greatest college basketball teams, but did you know that colleges have amazing teams in other sports as well? These sports include football, soccer, golf, baseball, softball, gymnastics, and wrestling, to name a few. In other words, the Mountain State welcomes athletes in a plethora of disciplines. Be that as it may, the top spot for the favored sport in West Virginia still belongs to college basketball.